A New Decade
Entering a new decade we are feeling grateful for the hurdles we have smashed and the opportunities ahead. The new year is a good time to fondly remember the man who gave life to the creatives responsible for ‘I Am Not A Brand’.
Frank Henry Cole was born 2nd January 1937, he died 14 years ago but without him ‘I Am Not A Brand’ would never have been.
Frank was the formative inspiration behind his two daughters Anna and Jayne who are the artists and creators of ‘I Am Not A Brand’. They grew up watching him in his workshop carefully painting letters as well as spray painting cars and fridges. He was not only a sign writer but could transform the family home, laying floors, building partition walls and decorating. He built a photographic dark room for his eldest daughter, in a shed in the garden. He even made dresses for his wife in the early years of their marriage. Frank was hard working, determined and creative.
Franks passing lead his eldest daughter Jayne, to study for a degree in graphic design, something she wanted to do on leaving school and eventually signed up for in her mid 40’s. She created an illustration of her fathers life as part of a college project called Travellers Tales.
The work is a personal interpretation using mixed media including pastel prints and collage. It shows his life journey from childhood when he was an evacuee during WWII, his time as a sea cadet and at college studying sign writing. He spent much of his youth in the Merchant Navy and found himself on a ship blocked out of the Suez Canal during the crisis of 1956. He later joined the RAF, met Gillian at RAF Cottesmore, got married and was then stationed in Cyprus. Later, he returned to Melon Mowbray, Leicestershire and set up as a sign writer. He had many hobbies including sailing, bowling and archery.
The illustration was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Magazine Creative Works Competition and then published in the 2012 Annual.